Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Christmas Greetings

This is the best Christmas gift this year! Little J loves to hear great Uncle Don reading the story to him. In fact, we all enjoy hearing this personalized edition of the book. Thank you Big Brother.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Greetings

Little J’s work is a masterpiece of perfection from a child’s viewpoint and perhaps a reminder that Happy Holidays are possible even when all things are a bit out of kilter.  



Monday, November 30, 2009

A Bit Elfish

Little J looked a bit elfish during his visit to Santa. Perhaps trying to score points for his Christmas wish list?


Jason Jr 001

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Guess How Many Beads

Little J is special student of the week in his class. He gets to bring in the guessing jar contents. So here’s your chance to outsmart the first grade class. Guess how many…



Saturday, November 07, 2009

Nanowrimo Junior

Dear Grandma,

The sun is out. Let’s go to the park. I didn’t mean to click on the delete key. Sorry. You did have a backup right? I’ll clean the carpet.

Mr. J


Nanowrimo Excuses

The carpet cleaner will stay right there where it is for the rest of the month. The mess will remain on the desk. The work will stay in the box. Weather outside will be nice like today or stormy. No matter what, the plot must move on. Will she ever get out of that Nanowrimo shirt? Not for at least another 36,215 words.



Monday, November 02, 2009

Little I is 5!



Toothless First Grader

It’s a great picture but I thought perhaps he’d give us one of his toothless smiles.


Jason Jr 002

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hubby Is In BIG Trouble

Perhaps it was the Halloween spirits that made that tree jump out in front of hubby as he drove UP our driveway.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

From Halloween 2008

Let's hope Halloween 2009 paints a better picture...

No one is allowed to eat in the living room. Of course we all know rules are meant to be broken so here are the exceptions:

  • #1. Grandma makes the rules so she follows them at her own discretion
    #2. If Grandma, in her supreme decision making process, determines it's for the better benefit of all parties involved
    #3. If Grandma is away and all evidence of any transgression is completely eradicated before her return

Unfortunately Grandma got caught doing # 2. Since grandkids were entranced in a movie and therefore leaving Grandma the freedom to pursue her own business, it seemed a reasonable request to let them consume popcorn in front of the TV AS LONG AS the popcorn remained on the king sized purple sheet that Grandma placed on the floor in the middle of the room. Note, there were no beverages allowed. Drinks are NEVER allowed in the living room.

Grandma may have been caught doing # 2 but the key is... there was no remaining evidence of this transgression. When the deed was done, she simply whisked up the stray popcorn into the sheet and provided nurishment for the birds outside.

It seems that Grandpa thought it was a good idea allowing popcorn in the living room so he could have a bit of tranquility during his tenure of the children when Grandma got sick this week. He carefully spread out the king sized purple sheet, brought out a huge bowl of sticky marshmallow popcorn and disappeared into his room. All was quiet. For about an hour. And then. Into Grandma's room. Came... a giggling purple ghost leaving a trail of sticky popcorn through the living room, hallway, kitchen, office, and bedroom.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cat suicide

Staying Healthy Into The Golden Years

Well, I made the paper again. That’s me on the far right, keeping up with the other line dancers. So, this is what the golden years is all about?



Where Am I?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Serious Sewers

Right in our own backyard so all our neighborhood can flush with
confidence knowing all waste will get to the right place. A minor
inconvenience providing both education and entertainment for Little J.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

One Fig Two Fig

The object of Little J's homework was to find all the words possible
with these letters. Little J was not sure what a fig was but when
asked what would you have with more than one fig his answer was "a
tummy ache."

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cat Comes Clean

Imagine the shock when one opens the dishwasher to find a clean kitty.
For once it's not Wanda. And yes Wanda is still alive and well
despite her continuous bad behavior.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I’ve Changed My Style

It was a miserably hot day at the Art & Wine Festival this afternoon. After meandering through the booths we searched for shade and a place to sit. The choice seemed to be a chiropractic assessment or a toe ring. Which way would you go?  I only discovered the pedicure experience a few years ago. Now I got rings on my toe. OK I’m a late bloomer. What’s next… a tattoo???



Saturday, September 12, 2009

Who Killed the Ivy?


IMG_3912Many times I have admitted it. I cannot grow anything. Nothing. My thumbs are anything but green. Both of them. But I have owned this persistent little ivy plant for years. I know… it should trailing all over the kitchen, living room and at least two bedrooms by now. But this plant has been abused. It has never ever been fed and has received only smidgets of water, mostly whenever someone left behind a half full water bottle that all humans in the household were afraid to consume due to insufficient knowledge as to whose lips may have touched that bottle.  It survived a change of environment at least twice, but always in the same pot. And then all of a sudden, a few days ago, the leaves were withered up and dropping to the floor. Once I got tired of scrunching on dead leaves on my nightly jaunt to the potty, I transported it to the outdoors, thinking perhaps a bit of fresh air and a good shower might revive the poor thing. I questioned all members of the household and frequent visitors about it’s demise. No one wanted to fess up. Of course my suspicions turned the direction of the cats but I determined not one of our cats would be agile enough to perform that kind of litter box maneuver and, I’ll admit, I did give it the sniff test. Finally the culprit, only out of concern that I might take drastic measures (like cooking) to extract the inevitable truth, came forward. Meekly he said, “I read somewhere that fish oil might help sickly plants, so the other night when I fried that fish… well hmmmm, I thought just maybe, if  I poured the grease in the flower pot...”   Hubby ran for cover as I reached for the cast iron fish frying pan and I haven’t seen him since.  OK OK that’s a lie, I wouldn’t do that. I might not take care of my plants but I don’t want to be the cook either.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Sliding on cardboard
Hillside of massive concrete
Not one broken bone

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Near our home the turkeys and deer roam, perfectly content, together.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Grade First Day

Grandma is a few days behind. Here is Little J showing off his cubby on the first day of 1st grade last Wednesday. At this age he is still happy to be back in school.



He is a few inches taller than last year and has a bit more confidence.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Legos On Display

It was a wonderful adventure today to see what can be done with Legos. My only regret is that I didn’t think to bring my camera so we have to settle for a cell phone photo. All of us were astounded at structures bigger than Grandpa in this room full of projects. This guy has invested a lifetime into building with these tiny little bricks. One of our favorites of course was the train station. Trains ran circles around all the villages and exhibits full of everything from from farms to graveyards, space and beyond. The kids got plenty of time to express their own creativity too. Now if we can just keep Little J out of the Lego aisle.



Friday, July 31, 2009

Bunya Bunya

On the way to daycare a couple of days ago I warned Little J that there was some sort of “egg” in my trunk. I told him it might hatch soon and he might want to be very careful while riding in the back seat. He of course thought I was kidding, especially when I told him the bunya bunya watches over little boys behaviors much like Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

Later that evening as he was sitting in front of the TV I asked him if he had done all the things he must do before turning on the set… getting ready for bed, brushing teeth, putting clothes in hamper, picking up the days toys (obviously he had not). I reminded him that the bunya bunya was still lurking in my car and could hatch at any moment. He just kind of sat there with that know it all grin. So, I did what any other grandma might do in this situation. I retrieved the bunya bunya from the trunk, brought the “wiggling” paper bag into the living room and dumped it onto the sofa. Didn’t have to say a word. Amazing how fast Little J finished his chores.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sniff Test

Little J and I hiked a two mile train around Spooner Lake on the 4th of July. Six year olds are always curious and love to discover new things so it was no surprise when Little J skipped up to the “Sniff Test” box with boisterous ambition. “What do I do with this?” he asked. I suggested he try to read the directions but in his usual stubbornness he insisted he already knew how to do this experiment without instructions. So I let him. And he learned a lesson… Bark Beetles leave behind a most odiferous substance. Somehow I think he might now be ready to but a little more effort into reading.



Friday, June 12, 2009

I Am NOT Addicted to Gadgets


Well, I can’t seem to find my desktop. But that’s OK, I didn’t want to do any work today anyway. Instead, I need to make my weekly trip to Trader Joe’s. I have to go today, Friday, for sure.

You see last week I went to TJ’s on Saturday when the parking lot was at it’s usual full capacity. As I got into my car to leave I noticed a couple cars backed up behind me waiting for my space. I also noticed that there were a few messages on my cell phone. So I did what all good friends do… I returned all the calls I missed while I was in TJ’s. As I hung up on the last call I ignored the the little beep beep behind me.

Little J was in the back seat getting a bit restless so I retrieved the DVD player that had fallen below his feet and helped him search for a good movie. He had left the player on while we were shopping so the battery was drained. We finally found the car charger mixed in his pile of clothes we had retrieved from the school lost and found a couple of days before. Beep beep.

Just about then I realized that Little J had a play date and I had no idea where his friend lived. So, I called the Mom for the address. It only took a couple more minutes to figure out the route on the GPS. Was that another little beep I heard? I turned around to see three cars now waiting for parking spaces.

I never drive around without listening to a few tunes so I took a moment to plug in the IPOD and find something to meet my current mood which was slightly rushed having a few frozen foods in the trunk and with Little J getting a bit impatient about getting to his buddies house. Another beep... 4 cars in line now.

Little J complained that my music was too loud so I looked around and found his headphones buried in the seat pocket next to him.
Was that another beep? Hmmmm 5 cars now and the guy behind me had more forehead furrows than a GPS has streets.

As I reached under my front seat to retrieve my Kindle, I think I heard some morse code kind of beeps coming from behind. If I remember correctly a few longs... a few shorts... and that special mixture of longs and shorts signifies something like F*** U. Ah well, soon I'd be lost into the robotic but humorous words of the latest Janet Evanovich novel I'm reading/listening to.

I started to pull out of the space when the cell phone rang. Dang, I forgot to turn on the blue tooth so I pulled back into the space to answer the phone.

There was a tap on my window. I didn't want to look. Little J looked. He told me, "drive away quick gramma because some mean guy is trying to kidnap me and he has a ransom note." I looked out to see a hand pinning a note to my windows... "Gadget-aholic Meeting - Tuesday 8pm - in front of Fry's – plenty of parking”

Monday, May 25, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty

Look closely near the middle of the picture. See those 2 little "lights". That's Fritz. I didn't let him out. I wasn't home. I went away and played for 4 days. But it seems there were visitors over the weekend and one of those visitors just happened to be a dog. Someone let the cat out. Called the fire department... they don't do cat rescues. Bought mackerel... Fritz can't smell that far away. Little J went to bed in tears (and it's not even his cat). I promised him Fritz would come down when he gets hungry enough. I promised him I wouldn't let Wanda out. I went out to check just now... Fritz has made his way a bit further up the tree. Somehow everyone blames grandma (that's me for those of you who don't already know) because she made a remark last week about "the beast" needing a new home. Oh yeah... the tree is right outside grandma's window... Grandma's gonna hear that CATerwauling all night long. Grandma always has to pay. Grandma is thinking - only 361 days until the four day escape to musical bliss at the 2010 Jazz Jubilee.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jazz Jubilee

It doesn't get any better than this!

Friday, May 01, 2009

It’s Only a Paper Hat

Will I win the contest tomorrow????



Mother's Day Tea

Little J's kindergarten class performed at their annual mother's day tea. Check out the ties and hats. Little J's tie has dice on it just like the one grandpa wears gambling.

Hat Craft

Even a kindergartener can make these hats. I got full details how to make one from a young lady who sat next to me at the mother's day tea. Just in time for the red hat spring bonnet contest tomorrow!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

In The Swim

It started out to be a doubly cold week here… cold outdoors and colds in our noses. Fortunately we woke up today to a bright warm sunshine and reasonably unstuffed noses. Little J’s first swim lesson was a huge success.



Sunday, April 12, 2009

Real Easter Eggs?

In the midst of our annual church egg hunting Little J drew a crowd of attention when he discovered a nest. No one touched the egg speculating that possibly it is a real egg.



Friday, April 10, 2009

Turning 60


IMG_3628So this is what happens when one turns 60. Pretty Scary huh? Big Brother is helping me find a place to spend my final decade and was so kind as to send me an article about an assisted living place near him… accompanied with a picture of a bunch of senior red hatters.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Jelly Belly

Did someone mention Jelly Belly? After consuming a Jelly Belly pizza, Little J was anxious to get on with the Jelly Belly Factory tour. He found out it takes 7-21 days to make a jelly bean and less than a minute to eat one. There are over 50 flavors but he was impressed with only one…lemon-lime. Grandma got her bag of jelly flops and realizes that at 4 calories per jelly belly she will need to be careful with her portions lest that 20 pounds she just lost could reappear overnight. Grandpa decided to keep his personal jelly belly and headed straight for the giant chocolate rocky road muffins – they don’t tell you how many calories there are in those.



Friday, April 03, 2009

Spring Blossoms

There are some strange things growing in the trees around here this spring.



Sunday, March 29, 2009

East Bay Then and Now


IMG_3578We made yet another trip to Mountain View Cemetery, the 3rd this week. This time we went to meet author Dennis Evanosky and purchased two of his books. Little J was intrigued to talk to Dennis and have our copies signed. His favorite of the two is Eastbay Then and Now and it kept him occupied for a good portion of the afternoon. His interest waned with Mountain View Cemetery when he couldn’t find the Grim Reaper in there.  

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lipstick on my...

Funny, I just saw Sunshine Cleaning, a movie about cleaning up the worst parts of life (and death). I have a minor cleaning problem (depending on how you look at it). When I got home I threw a load of dark clothes in the washer. I remembered to throw them in the dryer at dinner time. Half way through dinner we heard a "pop"... then another... and another. My first thought was to accuse Little J of storing microwave popcorn in the dryer. Then I thought it might be a maintenance issue with the dryer. By them time I got to the dryer I had this incredible fear of shrapnel injuries when opening the door. Well I mustered up the courage and as I was pulling out the clothes, out popped a lipstick tube, melted lipstick oozing out the sides. So now what do I do?... my clothes look like they've been attacked with paintball spatter. I re-washed them... no luck. Shall I tie dye them, see if I can start a new fad, or go shopping?

I did go online and search for lipstick stains... there's plenty of info out there for guilty men with lipstick on their collars but I'd be afraid to try toothpaste, ammonia, or alcohol on my dark clothes. Plus it would be an endless task to try to get to all the spots. HELP

Cemetaries and Feasts

After yesterday's sad funeral for an old friend, today I returned to Mountain View Cemetary for the Tulip Exhibit. First I checked out the panoramic view of the bay area from our friend's gravesite high on the hill. It was truly a beautiful site on this glorious spring day, a spectacular final resting place. All the exhibits were colorful, imaginative and creative but for or some reason us red hatters were drawn to this. Rather than indulging in a bittersweet temptation, we hurried down the street for a caloric absorbtion of the extraordinary proportions at Fenton's Creamery.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Barbie's Red Hat Birthday

In celebration of Barbie's qualification as a Red Hatter yesterday I brought out the Barbie's and her friends.

There is this box of old dolls, some of them Barbie's, tucked away on the top shelf of my closet. Little Sister wrote her name all over the top of the box. Then she gave the box to me for storage. The dolls are familiar. There's a bunch of hand made clothes in there, clothes that Grandma made out of bits and scraps of material. Now here's the kink in the story... Little Sister insists the dolls were hers. I insist they were mine. Some of the doll cloths match dresses Grandma made for me. I'm thinking now that maybe some of the dolls were mine and some hers. Hers would be the decapitated one, I'm sure of that.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Good News Bad News

Little J snuggled under his covers last night, without a lot of drama much to my relief. It always feels like a miracle when the bedtime routine is accomplished in less than 20 minutes. But, in spite of my own exhaustion, I had to return to his room when he called me back with, "Grandma, don't you want to hear the good news bad news?"

It's not our usual routine to discuss good news bad news. We usually just do the what's-the-best-thing-that-happened-today routine. Curiosity brought me back to his bedside.

"OK, what is it?" I asked.

"Well do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?"

I thought for a minute before responding, "maybe you better give me the bad first to get it out of the way."

He squirmed a bit under the blanket. I'm thinking this must be really bad. "I dropped my new Pikachu toothbrush in the toilet." I'm thinking, well there goes another $6.99 toothbrush plus who knows what for the plumber. Before I could think any further, he follows up with the good news. "Grandma, here's the good news... I didn't flush the toilet."

Saturday, February 28, 2009

StoryCircle Memoir Challenge # 2

My 2nd review for the StoryCircle challenge to read 4 memoirs in 4 months and review in 4 sentences...

The Sitting Swing
by Irene Watson
Pub 2008 by Loving Healing Press
ISBN 9781932690675

Irene Watson begins her memoir with her introduction into the Avalon Center where she seeks guidance to heal the scarring of a painful and abusive childhood. Growing up in the shadow of an older brother who dies early, much of her trauma is a result of her parents mix of overprotectiveness blended with events they chose to conveniently overlook. Inside the walls of Avalon, we see Irene's struggle from her beginning denial and resistance to the breakthrough realization that healing doesn't begin until she faces the past, re-writes the script, and moves on. Irene tells her courageous story in honest and simple language, almost as if she were sitting in the room speaking to a close friend.

Friday, February 20, 2009

MZ Needs

Prompted by an entry that I found in my nieces Facebook notes, I decided to search google for my needs. First I used the name that most people call me and came up with this list:
1. needs to remember that to get rid of the fearful temper
2. Needs obit
3. Needs obit/Needs family history & genealogy message board
4. (needs a punch in the ...
5. needs your help
6. needs to laugh once in a while
7. needs a new business
8. needs legal aid
9. needs a home
10.needs to verbalize experiences

Using my birth certificate name provided slight different results:
1. needs a home environment that can provide her abundant structure
2. needs to...
3. needs a Mrs. Clause
4. needs a feeling of safety in her place
5. needs Obama to explain his position
6. needs bed bugs
7. needs a Valium
8. needs to know
9. needs to learn to love and value herself before she finds happiness in love
10. needs to get fierce photo into the real world

Good thing I have a keen sense of humor. Otherwise I would need to ask, "Is there any hope for me?"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Magnetic Energy

So, Big Brother sends Little J a most generous gift for his birthday. Little J has been looking at the big box for days. Grandma keeps telling him, "It's not your birthday yet." Little J gets up this morning and plops down the package firmly stating, "Well now it's my birthday." Who can argue with that? Turned out it was all good. Little J was very pleased with his new building abilities and Grandma and Grandpa got some coffee time. As for the rest of the day, the party was great fun... for Little J. And that's a good thing. He deserves it. He and his friends were magnetized with Bakugan. We sent the kids home in the usual birthday party fashion... just wired enough on pizza and sugary birthday cake to keep their parents on their toes.

So the party is over. Time to go kick Wanda out of her hiding place. My turn.

Look for magnetic action here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL4gf8YTYkI

Where's Wanda?

Happy Valentine's Day. Well, at least we think it's happy. Wanda isn't so sure. She realizes that it is also Little J's Birthday. She knows something's up. There was a flurry of activity around here this morning. As if changing the litter boxes wasn't enough, there was also that darn noisy carpet cleaner. Candles are lit and there's a dozen red roses on the table. The final straw... the Lysol spray. Gads, the house has been decontaminated and deordorized. After Wanda attacked the ribbons on Little J's birthday gift she was banished to the bedroom. Wanda doesn't seem to mind much though...one six year old boy is already one too many for her and she heard there will be a bunch more arriving any minute. Where are the other 3 cats? Under the bed perhaps.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

Red Hatters have been using red and purple bras for purses and hats for years. I posted this picture of my bra purse 4 years ago. Take a look at this fun and funny project for breast cancer awareness ... The Artful Bras Project . Be sure to read the captions - they are a hoot!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ack... Something's Missing Here

Do raccoons grow new tails???

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eat Pray Love Review

As part of HerStories Memoir Challenge, here's the first 4 sentence review. (3 more to go):

Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir of her recovery from divorce and a severe bout of depression has three distinct parts. Through 108 tales (beads) she takes the reader on a lively, meditative and romantic memoir of travels to three countries, Italy, India and Indonesia. EAT seems at times to be a travelog of her three month quest in Italy to fill an insatiable appetite, PRAY is an intimate and honest revelation of soul searching in an Indian Ashram and LOVE brings everything together in Indonesian balance. The book is entertaining as well as informative, incorporates a full cast of interesting characters, and the sad and pensive moments are balanced with a good sense of humor.

Saturday, January 24, 2009